Wizards of the Coast

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Wizards of the Coast Reviews

Updated August 30, 2014
Updated August 30, 2014
49 Reviews
2.5
49 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Wizards of the Coast President and CEO Greg Leeds
Greg Leeds
28 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Wizards of the Coast needs some Magic.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good, knowledgeable technical department. Nice bonus if the company does well.

    Cons

    Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    I would not recommend a job here with the current management team.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people I worked with in "the trenches" are some of the best in the business, truly great folks and the people I worked with at Hasbro (the parent company) were awesome. That kept me going for a long time. In addition to those folks, all the best parts of working there come from their perks and benefits -much of which is Hasbro's influence (but many Wizards leaders don't want you to know that.): half day Fridays, benefits package, generous 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, paid holiday between Dec 24-Jan2., daycare onsite, gym onsite, etc.

    Cons

    This used to be a great place to work I had several managers I truly respected and a team that was inspiring to work with. Truly great leaders surround themselves with people willing to tell them the truth. This creates teams of people willing to take risks and create great products. But, by the time I left that wasn't the case. By the time I left, it appeared that anyone who was brave enough to challenge the CEO and was willing to take a stand for their employees had been replaced by people who must be terrified of losing their jobs. That's the only way I can explain how most of the employees can be treated so poorly by their Senior leaders.

    Things take a very long time to move forward. Again, I can only attribute that to leaders being afraid to MAKE a decision until the person in the chain above them approves of the decision. Therefore, many things get left undone.

    I feel the worst for the mid-level managers who seem to merely be doing the dirty work of the Directors and VPs above them.

    Bad behavior seems to be tolerated and in many cases it seems the loudest bullies get the promotions.

    I witnessed someone on the Senior Team rip an employee up one side and down the other for a project that (the Senior Leader) didn't like. The project turned out to be a huge success but no one was brave enough to publicly announce that on a day when the Senior Leader was in the office.

    I also witnessed lower-level employees who came up with an innovative, cost-efficient plan, present it to upper level leaders and have it nastily vetoed. All those employees were laid off (or quit) within 6 months. Later, a Senior Leader took the very same idea and was applauded for such an innovative process.

    If you do apply for a job there, ask about the turnover rate in the department to which you are applying. Those are the departments with bully leaders.

    In my experience, if you are honest, work hard and come up with innovation ideas, you are punished with more work, leaders stealing your ideas, and moved to positions where you're no longer doing what you were hired to do.

    I've observed those who seem to do no work, steal other's ideas, and employ bullying behavior rewarded with promotion after promotion..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All leaders need to take an honest look at their behavior. If they can completely flip the culture back to a place where hard work. genuine innovation and positive behaviors are rewarded (and lazy work, stealing ideas and negative behaviors are punished) then that's great. If not, there needs to be a housecleaning from the top down, in my opinion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Slaving away, the Wizards way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer  in  Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Designer in Renton, WA

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working on the art and the products is fun & awesome, if not THE BEST. Great add for your design portfolio. Very Glad I had this experience, will miss it very much.

    Cons

    Things, I will NOT miss at all: They are a great example of what a contradiction is. They want perfection yet do not want to have to work for it. They want you to be organized and produce work without providing the proper information, files or TIME (you should just know and you should be able to magically make things appear out of thin air). Professional organized individuals seem to terrify and create insecurities for their enormous, yet fragile egos. They always forget to include: "Slave & mind reader" among their job requirements (god forbid you ask for specific instructions, AGAIN you should just know).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't think there is anything to say. You are all too far gone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Punished for being Professional and a Hardworker

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    The benefits are a good and fair. As well the half day Friday's are nice.

    Cons

    Where does one start when describing this place? Other reviews have used words like “immature” and “hostile” to communicate the level of dysfunction at Wizards. The Wizard’s Culture is neither unique nor productive. It can be liken to Congress, the Senate or high school. Although the third culture does have some with the capacity for maturity. As an employee, if you not willing to put your whole life’s story out there for them(those existing employees at Wizards) to judge, then your deemed unfriendly and uncooperative. . If you are not willing to be bullied and manipulated, then you are deemed uncooperative.

    Wizards seems to want only want employees who think and look like them; diversity is a talking point not part of Wizards culture. When one thinks of work life balance, it not only applies to the hours worked, rather it applies to level of comfort an employee has, in an environment at the end of the day. Given the above, there really is no work life balance if one constantly deals with the stress making sure everyone likes them; you have assimilated how everyone else thinks, so that one can do their job.

    So, what is the remediation? Not management, they are more worried about manipulating the environment to further their career. You say, well that is all over why complain, because it is worst of it, not the norm. Go to a manager with an issue, something which requires thought and authenticity, and one is either ostracized or put on probation. However, if you are favored, like the cool kids, then no matter what you do will not be terminated. You can even drop a whole Production environment and not get fired, only if you are like them (the cool kids at Wizards). Human Resources would be the next step however, when presented with an issue, their response is to provide a pamphlet or violate the implicit trust by telling everyone they think should be told.

    Basically, stay away and do not believe the hype. It would be appropriate, in this case, to say that all that glitters is not gold rather fool’s gold.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at yourselves in the mirror and ask, how do I sleep at night? Am I following the adage "in order make yourself great, make others around you great" or not. Pay attention to those who work for you and remember, you really cannot replace every employee who leaves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of great people at this company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast for more than 10 years

    Pros

    A company filled with smart, creative, passionate people. Supportive of work-life balance, several fun employee appreciation events every year. Individual contributors are valued, at least in my department.

    Cons

    Some senior management are difficult to work for and some key teams are understaffed and under-resourced.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Excellent Product - Poor Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are some wonderfully creative and funny people working there. Employees participate in events, are passionate about the game and the art, and want to see it be successful. If you want to step out of your technical box and learn more, the teams are so short handed, you can learn a lot. You will make friends that you carry with you long after the gig is over and in many ways some of the departments resemble huge dysfunctional families who genuinely care about one another.

    Cons

    Wages are some of the worst in the industry. What this means in real life is that often the first, second, and third choices for Director or upper level management positions walk away from the job. The individual hired often works for 35-40% below the Seattle market, has little actual experience in the gaming industry or in any complex IT environment, and often lacks the management or personnel skills needed to address the most egregious issues. Couple that with an H/R department unwilling to address even the most basic issues and you have a powder keg of simmering resentment, anger, politics, and back stabbing. Adding fuel to the fire, Hasbro owns Wizards and has decided to play in the sandbox. This is a company that is hemorrhaging cash, let go of 10% of its workforce and wouldn't know software development if it stood in front of them. Their attempts to run a gaming company like a manufacturing company would be funny if they weren't so painful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management knows what the issue is. It's even reflected in these reviews on Glass Door. It's not hard to correlate the dates these reviews took a significant downturn to the changes in upper management, involvement from Hasbro, lack of direction, and poor hiring decisions at the upper management level. Greg Leeds has a reputation for listening to feedback. Now would be a good time to start living up to that reputation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wizards is an awesome and fun place to work if you love games.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    My time at Wizards has been full of interacting with smart, interesting people who are passionate about the games we make and the audiences we serve. I could not ask for a better environment as someone who is passionate about Magic.

    Cons

    Wizards is still in the early stages of its digital growth, and it has frequent growing pains in this regard. But the fundamental vision is strong, and I'm optimistic about the improvements taking place now and in the future.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Clicky, Passive aggressive people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    Great product and great president who cares about the customers.

    Cons

    If you've been at Wizards for a long time, your in the click (they call it Wizards culture). You need to be careful as you don't know who's BFF's with who and you can quickly find yourself a target that will be ostracized, but passive aggressively (of course). They'll all act nicely/politely in front of you, but watch out! LOW PAY!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean out your HR department as they are part of problem, they are the most unprofessional group I've ever encountered. Pay your people what the area is paying, being a fan of the game only goes so far. It seems you promote people based on how long they've been their (the click), not on their abilities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Brains wanted, but not really welcomed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Everything on the game R&D side seems great. They produce a great product and have a loyal consumer base.

    Cons

    If you're with the company in any other capacity aside from active R&D on a product line, expect to be overworked and underpaid. Despite the best efforts and token gestures of senior management, the company is still very top-down, and middle to upper-middle management tends to be extremely cut throat. Questioning a supervisor in any capacity isn't welcomed, regardless of whether you end up being correct and you'll likely be more penalized for not being 'in line' than your supervisor will be for being wrong. Marketing/branding/sales have an absurdly disproportionate amount of sway in matters not directly related to their department, to the detriment of everyone involved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Greg Leeds, the CEO, seems to genuinely care and want to hear from the people in the trenches, but he's surrounded by severely incompetent middle management that don't accurately relay (or honestly, even understand) the problems with the company.

    Sadly, as awesome as it is to be a gamer working for a game company, that is also Wizards of the Coast's biggest failure. The company is absolutely FULL of people in important positions that have no business doing the jobs they are expected to do. There are dozens of people who have no qualifications in marketing, customer support, game development, or management that are making key decisions. Management needs to start making people responsible for their own failures rather than constantly passing the blame down.

    Short version: cut the yes men and start hiring based on qualifications rather than tenure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Looking for a fun, competitive, company with knowledgeable leadership? THEN STAY AWAY.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Operations  in  Renton, WA
    Former Employee - IT Operations in Renton, WA

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Free Magic cards and Dungeons and Dragons material.

    Cons

    The entire HR department is a fraud. They play favorites and aren't at all interested in the success of the company. They have all promoted themselves to manager of something or other, but refuse to even approve salary leveling for the employees. Don't believe me? Talk to ANY current or former employee that worked under this new HR regime.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire HR. I can't stress that enough.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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